Environmental Effects on Human Body Odour

  • Jan Havlicek
  • Pavlina Lenochova


Human body odour is individually specific and several lines of evidence suggest that to some extent it is under genetic control. There are however numerous other sources of variation, commonly labelled as environmental factors, which are the main aim of this paper. These include: 1) reproductive status, 2) emotional state, 3) diet and 4) diseases. We primarily focus on axillary and genital odours as they have been proposed to have communicative function. We prelusively conclude that a specific diet and some diseases have major impact on variations in human body odour.


Bacterial Vaginosis Methyl Mercaptan Maple Syrup Urine Disease Body Odour Vaginal Secretion 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media,LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Havlicek
    • 1
  • Pavlina Lenochova
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyCharles UniversityHusnikova 2075Czech Republic

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